+ Frozen Lands & Infinite Sea
Currently I am undertaking an expedition by sailing yacht from New Zealand to New Caledonia, Vanuatu, and Indonesia, with stopovers in Solomon Islands, Kiribati, Tuvalu and Palau, to complete my “Pacific Islands project”. Over the last three years, I have already visited and documented Kiribati, Nauru, Tonga, Samoa, French Polynesia, Lord Howe Island, Easter Island and Fiji. This project embodies the question how climate change has an impact on some of the most vulnerable islands of our planet.
Driven by the challenges of climate change, plastic pollution, declining biodiversity and the disruption of vulnerable ecosystems
on (remote) islands caused by human intervention, I am looking for traces of the impact that we as human have left on nature.
Projects such as entering the Global Seed Vault on Svalbard, the semi-circumnavigation of the Antarctic continent, as well as the odyssey through the South Atlantic Ocean and the South Indian Ocean, are expeditions where I investigate the relationship and conflict between man and nature from a number of different perspectives.
On this five-week expedition I crossed the South Atlantic Ocean by ship, from the southernmost city of the world Ushuaia (Patagonia) to Cape Verde Islands. I spent weeks on the open ocean, visited the most remote islands in the world and experienced beautiful fauna and flora. This odyssey shows you the pristine and untouched beauty of our fragile planet planet.
In 2017, I participated in a semi-circumnavigation around Antarctica, 5 weeks on the Southern Ocean, from Bluff (New Zealand) to Ushuaia, Argentina. I visited the Dry Valleys, three scientific stations and three huts of the famous British explorers Ernest Shackleton and Robert Falcon Scott, using helicopters and zodiacs.
For a long time the poles symbolised a pure, untouched world. A world hostile to humans, with temperatures that went deep below zero. Unknown, vast, inhospitable areas where storms roamed the plains and which killed many polar explorers and researchers.
Today, the poles are a symbol of global warming. Despite their immense surface, their vulnerability is at the forefront. Any increase in temperature by a fraction of a degree has an enormous impact on the ice masses and the glaciers and on the animals that found their biotope here.
In a barren, cold and secluded spot, only 1,000 km from the North Pole, a bunker was drilled deep into the rocks near Longyearbyen by the Norwegian government in Spitsbergen in 2008: a 130-meter-long tunnel that opens onto three spacious freezers with a temperature of -18° C.
Here, all crops in the world are collected to protect them against all types of disasters, to prevent species from extinction. A safe for the protection of biodiversity of our food crops.
Currently 890,886 different plant seeds are stored. The bunker has a total capacity to safeguard 4,5 million varieties. The biggest advantage of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault is its unique location, far from potential disaster such as earthquakes and wars, protected deep into the permafrost. After eight months I was exceptionally admitted to enter the Vault.
THE FRENCH SOUTHERN AND ANTARCTIC LANDS
Photos coming soon…
What a unique adventure! I recently returned from an expedition where I joined the vessel Marion Dufresne which supplies the scientists and researchers who are stationed for 3 to 6 months (or longer) on the “Terres Australes et Antarctique Françaises” (T.A.A.F.), the French subantarctic Islands of Crozet and Kerguelen. Three weeks on a relatively turbulent ocean with very interesting people on board, mostly related to the French government.
Being integrated in the working schedule of the mission, it was a true privilege to experience and participate with these researchers, visiting these unique and fragile ecosystems which are among the most difficult in the world to reach.
I was just a spectator, an observer, a participator and a witness to the beauty of these remote and almost inaccessible islands. Connecting…. with the people, with the ship, with our pure and pristine planet.
— Photos will follow soon…
More projects to follow soon!
FOLLOW ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA
© 2019 Christian Clauwers | All Rights Reserved.